Hot Wheels: Pickup Trucks Are 4 of the Most Stolen Cars

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its list of most stolen vehicles this week, and the results are surprising. Pickup trucks topped the list of most-stolen vehicles, followed closely by the ever-present Honda Civic. In 2020, a car, truck, or other vehicle was stolen every 36 seconds. How can you prevent your car, truck, or SUV from being stolen?

Ford pickup trucks are the most stolen vehicle for 2020

Pickup trucks are frequently stolen
This Ford pickup truck was stolen from a truck stop | RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The National Insurance Crime Bureau released its Annual Auto Theft Report for 2020. Pickup trucks took the top two spots in a surprising turn of events. While the Ford Full-Size Pickup truck is in first place for the second year in a row, the Chevrolet pickup truck managed to bump the Honda Civic sedan for second place.

In 2020, 44,014 Ford trucks were reported stolen, which is a 13% increase. But as far as the Chevrolet trucks go, the NICB says these saw a 25.7% increase over the previous year.

Make and modelThefts in 2020Increase from 2019
1. Ford pickup truck 44,014 13.0%
2. Chevrolet pickup truck40,96825.7%
3. Honda Civic34,1442.8%
4. Honda Accord30,8140.2%
5. Toyota Camry16,9158.0%
6. Nissan Altima14,6689.8%
7. GMC pickup truck13,01616.6%
8. Toyota Corolla12,5153.1%
9. Honda CR-V12,30921.9%
10. Dodge pickup truck11,9916.2%

The NICB says that the most common stolen model year for the Ford truck is 2006. For the Chevrolet truck, the most common model year is 2004. Cars and trucks have come a long way in the last few years, so perhaps the anti-theft devices on these older trucks are not as modern.

Four full-size pickup trucks made the list, along with five sedans and one SUV

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In seventh place, the GMC pickup truck saw 13,016 stolen vehicles in 2020. That is a 16.6% increase over the previous year. The most common year for these thefts is the 2005 GMC pickup truck, which aligns with the first and second results. The Dodge pickup truck came in last place, seeing a 6.2% increase over the previous year. The most common model year for this truck was 2001.

So why are these trucks being stolen so frequently? Based on the common model years that are stolen (2006, 2004, 2005, and 2001), it seems all of these trucks are lacking in anti-theft devices. This might make it easier for thieves to get in and out with the truck before anyone notices.

How can you prevent your vehicle from being stolen?

There are a few ways to help guard against vehicle theft. The National Insurance Crime Bureau suggests four ways to help do that. These are common sense, warning devices, immobilizing devices, and tracking devices. The common-sense approach involves not leaving your keys in the car, locking your vehicle, closing your windows, and parking in a well-lit area. Many thieves will pull on door handles to see if a car is open, thus making it an easy target.

The second layer of protection is an alarm or warning device to deter thieves. This can include an alarm, steering wheel/lock, brake locks, or wheel locks. These can help indicate that the vehicle might not be easy to steal.

An immobilizing device is the third option. This will prevent thieves from bypassing the ignition and hotwiring the car. Smart keys, fuse cut-offs, kill switches, and some starter/ignition disabling device would work. Even though the trucks on this list are considered modern, it’s possible a smart key was not available and made it easy to steal.

Finally, the NICB suggests having a tracking device on your vehicle. Having a tracking device on your car can help track it, even if it does get stolen. A system with telematics uses GPS and wireless technology to alert the authorities if a vehicle is removed from its known location.

If you have one of the vehicles on this list, take extra care to have some anti-theft devices to keep your vehicle safe. If you drive one of these frequently stolen pickup trucks, never leave your truck unlocked or with the keys inside. Unless you are trying to get rid of it.

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